Rodney Arthur


Rodney Meredith

Rodney Meredith Arthur's decade-long battle with Alzheimer's disease ended peacefully on November 7, 2013, at the age of 72. Throughout it all, Rodney was loving and kind. His incredible caregivers, who knew him only in a diminished state, still got glimpses of how he could enliven a room with his smile and his deep, booming laugh.

Rodney's profound ability to connect with others served him well in his successful 30-year career as a trial lawyer. His fundamental belief, which drove his many accomplishments as a plaintiff's attorney, was that it was his privilege and responsibility to stand up for those who could not stand up for themselves. Rodney's talents as a persuasive communicator were legendary, and his courtroom success was a testament to that.

Rodney's career began in 1969 after graduating with a BS and JD from Ohio Northern University and an MBA from the University of Toledo. He taught business law at Defiance College, and then began building his law practice as the founding partner of Arthur, O'Neil, Mertz, Michel, and Brown, LLP in Defiance. He was an active member of the American Bar Association and was on the Board of Governors of the American Trial Lawyers Association (AAJ) holding many chairmanships and serving as guest lecturer for educational programs. He was a member of the Roscoe Pound Trial Lawyers Foundation. Rod was also a frequent lecturer for the Ohio Academy of Trial Attorneys (OAJ) and served as its President from 1982-1983. He was certified as a specialist in Civil Trial Advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, and was a recipient of the AAJ Wiedemann & Wysocki Citation of Excellence Award.

Rod wed Nancy Arthur (née Otto). They were married in Iceland in 1969, which began a lifelong love affair with travel. They explored the world together trip by trip. Rodney and Nancy have 3 children, Meredith, who was named after her father and who shares his love of popcorn and movies, and twin sons, Matthew and John, who will remember their father whenever they play ping pong, visit Hilton Head Island, or hear a show tune. Rodney instilled in all of his children a passion for learning and education that they will pass on to his 5 grandchildren, Abbott, Alice, Mason, Arlo, and Wyatt. He was preceded in death by his parents, Art and Cleona Arthur of Lima. In addition to his wife, children, and their spouses, he will be remembered by his colleagues and friends; his brothers, Ricci and Todd, and his sister, Tolly, whose lives are richer for having known him.

A celebration of his life will be held on December 7 at the Palm House of the Franklin Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio from 6-9 p.m. All are welcome to share stories and memories. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Cure Alzheimer's Fund:

Lehtomaa Funeral Home, 201 Osborn Ave., Findlay, Ohio 45840, 419-424-0777 was entrusted with the arrangements. Online condolences, as well as fond memories, may be shared with Rodney's family by visiting

Published in Toledo Blade on Nov. 24, 2013